Discovery of a tsunami deposit from the Bronze Age Santorini eruption at Malia (Crete): impact, chronology, extension

Laurent Lespez, Séverine Lescure, Ségolène Saulnier-Copard, Arthur Glais, Jean François Berger, Franck Lavigne, Charlotte Pearson, Clément Virmoux, Sylvie Müller Celka, Maia Pomadère

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A geomorphological survey immediately west of the Minoan town of Malia (Crete) shows that a tsunami resulting from the Bronze Age Santorini eruption reached the outskirts of the Palatial center. Sediment cores testify a unique erosional event during the Late Minoan period, followed locally by a high energy sand unit comprising marine fauna. This confirms that a tsunami impacted northern Crete and caused an inundation up to 400 m inland at Malia. We obtained a radiocarbon range of 1744–1544 BCE for the secure pre-tsunami context and an interval 1509–1430 BCE for the post-event layer. Examination of tsunami deposits was used to constrain run-up not exceeding 8 m asl. The results open the field for new research on the Bronze Age Santorini tsunami regarding both impact and consequences for the Minoan civilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15487
JournalScientific reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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